Pekka Rinne to be first player to have jersey retired by Predators

Pekka Rinne
May 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) celebrates with teammates after a shutout win in what could be his final home game as a starter against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators announced on Wednesday that they will retire Pekka Rinne’s number 35 on February 24, 2022. He will become the first player to have this honor bestowed upon him by the franchise.

“Pekka Rinne defines what it means to be part of the Nashville Predators,” President and CEO Sea Henry said in a statement. “From how he trained and played; to how he put so much into so many community-changing programs, from Best Buddies, to the 365 Fund to Feeding the Frontlines; to always being there when SMASHVILLE needed a friend, Pekka was always there, doing more than anyone thought a person could.”

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Nashville Predators to retire Pekka Rinne’s jersey

Rinne, 39, was considered one of the NHL’s elite backstops for most of his career that spanned 683 regular-season games and 89 playoff contests. He is the Predators leader for games played, wins (369). GAA (2.43), saves (17627), shutouts (60) and more.

During the regular-season he compiled a record of 369-213-75. In postseason action he was 45-44 which included a memorable run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. The Predators fell to the Penguins in six games, but “Smashville” forever became a hockey town.

“While he is the greatest player to wear our jersey, he was even better as a neighbor and friend to all,” Henry continued. “His career on and off the ice will take center stage when we raise his sweater to the Bridgestone Arena rafters, but we know that he will be celebrated time and time again, as his impact can’t be contained to just one event.”

The Predators will play the Dallas Stars on that night.